University of Arkansas Yearbooks, Google Sheets, Facebook, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, July 2, 2020


University of Arkansas: Libraries Digitize All University of Arkansas Yearbooks. “More than 100 years of Razorback history have now been digitized. Thanks to project donors and the University of Arkansas Libraries, all yearbooks from 1897 through 2018 are now available worldwide online, free of charge.”


TechCrunch: Google Sheets will soon be able to autocomplete data for you. “Google today announced a couple of updates to Google Sheets that will make building spreadsheets and analyzing data in them a little bit easier. The most interesting feature here, surely, is the upcoming launch of Smart Fill. You can think of it as Smart Compose, the feature that automatically tries to finish your sentences in Gmail, but for spreadsheets. The idea here is that Smart Fill, which will launch later this year, can autocomplete your data for you.”

Neowin: Facebook will have its hate speech controls audited. “Media Rating Council (MRC), a nonprofit organization that manages accreditation for media research and rating purposes, will conduct the audit, and evaluate how the firm safeguards advertisers from appearing next to harmful content. Additionally, the firm will assess the accuracy of Facebook’s reporting in specific domains. Facebook hasn’t decided when the audit will take place or what will be its scope.” Uh-huh.


Mashable: Best yoga apps and YouTube channels for practicing at home. “Maybe you want to start the day with yoga, boosting your energy and encouraging clear intention. Or perhaps you want to use yoga to ease that pack pain from sitting in the house all day. Different yoga instructors, apps, and YouTube channels offer different styles and approaches. And what’s best is what works best for you. There’s no universal answer for the single best app or YouTube channel for yoga, but you’ll find one that suits your groove with a little trial and error.”

Ars Technica: Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. “As Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and other voice assistants have become fixtures in millions of homes, privacy advocates have grown concerned that their near-constant listening to nearby conversations could pose more risk than benefit to users. New research suggests the privacy threat may be greater than previously thought.”


CNN: The Facebook ad boycott is starting to rattle investors. “After several days of largely shrugging off news about a growing Facebook advertiser boycott, investors now appear to be taking notice. Shares of Facebook (FB) fell nearly 3% in early trading Monday, before rebounding, after big brands such as Starbucks (SBUX), Coca-Cola (CCEP) and Hershey’s said they would pause spending on the social media platform over concerns about its handling of misinformation and hate speech.”

CBS News: Reddit bans pro-Trump forum “The_Donald” in hate speech crackdown. “Reddit has banned ‘The_Donald,’ a forum that united fans of President Donald Trump on the social media platform. While announcing policy changes, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said Monday that the popular subreddit was shut down because it continuously violated its hate speech rules.”


Techdirt: The Most Important Privacy Case You’ve Never Heard Of. “One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state’s broadband Internet users. If the broadband providers prevail, this case could eliminate sector-specific privacy laws across the nation, foreclose national privacy legislation, and have broad implications for broadband regulation generally.”

Reuters: EU throws new rule book at Google, tech giants in competition search. “Exasperated by its failure to loosen Google’s market grip, despite more than $8 billion in fines, the European Union is lining up new rules to level the playing field for rivals. And just as its landmark privacy law became a global model, the EU’s new regulations could become a template for governments around the world looking to rein in Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google, Facebook Would Face FTC Over Policies in Democratic Bill. “A top Democratic lawmaker wants to empower the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to take action against Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc., among other technology platforms, if they fail to remove content that violates their terms of service and community standards.”


New York Times: Universities and Tech Giants Back National Cloud Computing Project. “Leading universities and major technology companies agreed on Tuesday to back a new project intended to give academics and other scientists access to the computing resources now available mainly to a few tech giants. The initiative, the National Research Cloud, has received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers in both houses have proposed bills that would create a task force of government science leaders, academics and industry representatives to outline a plan to create and fund a national research cloud.”

IEEE Spectrum: How the Digital Camera Transformed Our Concept of History. “For an inventor, the main challenge might be technical, but sometimes it’s timing that determines success. Steven Sasson had the technical talent but developed his prototype for an all-digital camera a couple of decades too early.” Good morning, Internet…

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